Warmer weather is expected to sweep across much of the US over the next three days following a deadly winter storm that killed more than 60 people and battered Erie County in New York, while it is expected Five separate storm systems are expected to bring double-digit rain and three feet or more of snow to the west through early next week.
Highs of 5 to 20 degrees above average are expected over the holiday weekend across much of the country, helping to melt snow in the Buffalo area of Erie County and leading to an eve and a day New Year’s Day in most areas east of the Rocky Mountains.
Highs are expected to exceed 50 degrees Fahrenheit in Washington, DC, Denver and Atlanta on Wednesday, while Dallas could see highs in the 60s and 70s from Wednesday through New Year’s Day.
In Chicago, the highs will be comparatively more moderate, in the low 40s on Wednesday, potentially reaching 55 degrees on Thursday, and stabilizing in the mid-40s on Friday through New Year’s Day.
Buffalo sees relief
In Rochester and Buffalo, temperatures are expected to hit the high 40s on Wednesday and continue to rise to the high 50s on Friday. according to the National Weather Service.
The region has already seen some relief from the winter storm that left thousands without power and digging in several feet of snow: Tuesday night marked the first time in more than a week that the Buffalo area did not have a winter weather advisory in effect, the Buffalo National Weather Service tweeted.
The Buffalo airport, which has been closed from December 23it was expected to reopen on Wednesday morning, according to a tweet.
Just over 1,400 power customers in New York state were without power Wednesday morning, which is just 0.02% of the state. according to PowerOutage.us.
In Erie County, where at least 32 people were killed by the storm, according to an NBC News tally, power was being restored quickly, with about 800 of the county’s 350,700 power customers remaining without power as of Wednesday morning. tomorrow, compared to more than 2,000 who were without power. power Tuesday night.
Storms hit the west coast
Meanwhile, a total of five separate storm systems will impact the west through next Monday.
A storm system is expected to bring snow and wind gusts of up to 70 mph to the Rocky Mountain and Four Corners regions on Wednesday.
On Thursday, the next storm system makes its way up the West Coast, with a developing flood risk in parts of California. On Friday, a storm system will continue to bring coastal rain and heavy snow in the mountains.
By the time the storm parade moves west, double-digit rainfall totals and three feet of snow or more will have fallen.
Stormy weather has already affected parts of the west.
In the Northwest, monster waves, high tides and strong winds that battered western Oregon and Washington led to fatal accidents, power outages and flooded homes Tuesday and early Wednesday.
Oregon state police said multiple people were killed when their car hit a tree on US 26 east of Cannon Beach, The Oregonian reported. Investigators are determining whether the tree fell onto the road before the car hit it or whether the tree crushed the vehicle as it fell, police said. The exact number of people killed was not immediately known.
Another motorist was killed when a tree fell and struck his vehicle as he was driving further east on US 26, Portland’s ABC affiliate KATU. reported, citing the Oregon State Police. More than 50 miles of highway was closed due to that accident, downed trees and high winds, from Rhododendron to Warm Springs, state transportation officials said.
In Washington, high tides known as king tides and heavy rains caused water to spill on more than a dozen homes in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood, The Seattle Times reported.
As of Wednesday morning, Oregon led the country as the state with the most reported power outages, with more than 66,000 customers affected, according to PowerOutage.us.
More than 14,600 people in Washington’s King County also lost power Wednesday morning, and thousands more in Kitsap and Thurston counties in the western part of the state also lost power, according to PowerOutage.us.
Along the northern Oregon coast, winds reached 80 mph on Tuesday. In the Portland metropolitan area, 60 mph wind gusts downed power lines and downed trees, including near the Portland Museum of Art in downtown.
Coastal flooding and high wind advisories were also in effect for much of western Washington state.
A record high tide of 18.4 feet submerged parts of the state capital of Olympia, washing marine life onto the city streets, authorities said.
“Jellyfish flooded the shoreline and onto our streets,” said Eric Christensen, director of Olympia Water Resources. “There was a woman who was kind enough to rescue them and return them to Budd Inlet.”
Other areas around Puget Sound also experienced flooding, which trapped cars and impacted buildings.
Weather conditions have also forced the full or partial closure of several Oregon state parks at a time when whale watchers and vacationing tourists often flock to the coast.
Oregon State Parks announced emergency closures for Ecola and Cape Meares due to high winds and the possibility of falling trees. The day use area at Sunset Bay State Park near Coos Bay was closed due to extreme high tides and flooding.
Cape Meares is one of 17 sites hosting Oregon Whale Watching Week, which returns in-person this year for the first time since the pandemic. During the event, which begins Wednesday and runs through Sunday, volunteers help visitors spot gray whales during their annual migration south.
The park anticipates reopening on Wednesday, but people are encouraged to visit later in the week if possible, Oregon State Parks spokeswoman Stefanie Knowlton said.
In California, the first of a week of storms brought high winds, rain and snow to the state on Tuesday, substantially lowering temperatures that topped 80 degrees in some areas over Christmas.
There were numerous reports of roadway flooding and downed trees and branches as the storm ripped through the northern half of the state and spread southward, the National Weather Service said.
More than 9,600 California power customers were without power Wednesday morning, with Humboldt County reporting the most outages, with more than 2,500. Colusa and Mendocino counties had 650 and just over 700 power outages as of Wednesday morning, respectively, according to PowerOutage.us.
Winter storm warnings have been issued for the Sierra Nevada, where motorists have been warned that travel could be dangerous. On some roads, chains or snow tires were required.
Gusts of up to 120 mph were reported on some Sierra peaks, the Reno, Nevada weather bureau said. Backcountry avalanche warnings were issued for parts of the range.